The story behind the Situation Room photo that shook the world a year ago.
Sam Smith and Kim Petras' performance of "Unholy" left some calling it a satanic ritual.
Depending on which corners of social media you call home, few happenings from the 2023 Grammy awards were as divisive as Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ performance of the song “Unholy.” Was it a historic moment of inclusion or a historic display of a Satanic ritual broadcast to the world?
On the one hand, the pair made music history. After winning the Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Smith became the first non-binary artist to win the category, along with Petra who became the first trans woman to win the category.
However, not everyone was a fan of their live hell-themed performance, featuring Smith clad in red leather and sporting a top hat with devil horns and Petras dancing in a cage surrounded by dominatrixes.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to call the act “evil,” and his fury was quickly echoed by other conservative influencers who declared it an example of mainstream devil worship.
“Don’t fight the culture wars, they say. Meanwhile demons are teaching your kids to worship Satan. I could throw up.” wrote conservative political commentator Liz Wheeler.
However, it doesn’t take a lot of research to find out what the artist’s original intentions were behind the song.
In a previous interview with NME, Smith shared that the song was about “liberating oneself from the clutches of others’ secrets.” The song’s lyrics explicitly suggest that the story is about adultery, and touches on the way certain taboo desires are viewed as sins and therefore kept hidden or repressed. For such a large portion of history, this has been a harsh reality of the LGBTQ experience, which makes the theme seem like a creative no-brainer rather than a literal endorsement for satanic worship.
Petras also responded to backlash over the song, telling Variety that the performance was inspired by not feeling accepted by mainstream religion as a trans person.
“I personally grew up wondering about religion and wanting to be a part of it but slowly realizing it didn’t want me to be a part of it. So it’s a take on not being able to choose religion. And not being able to live the way that people might want you to live, because as a trans person I’m already not kind of wanted in religion,” she said.
Taking it from the song creators themselves, it seems the message really being put out is that of acceptance. Or at least paving your own way when acceptance doesn’t come.
Watch the video below:
“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."
Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.
He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.
The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.
The employees at the pub in the picturesque, small market town with a population of 12,000, were shocked to see such a high-profile celebrity walk through its doors—especially one who is known for being such a humble, likable guy.
Pub staff posted a photo of chef Scott Valentine, 18, and “The Matrix” star on The Robin Hood’s Facebook page.
“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch,” they shared. “What a lovely man he was too. Laura asked if he would be ok with taking photos with the kitchen lads. He marched into the kitchen shook their hands, and praised them for the food they had prepared. Suffice to say he made their days!!!”
According to the staff at the restaurant, Reeves ordered traditional English fare. "He came to the bar and ordered a beer (Seafarers Ale) and just walked over to the corner. He ordered fish and chips and Nat's shepherd's pie,” Laura Rolfe told The Mirror.
Valentine told the BBC he was scared to cook for such a big star. But Reeves was appreciative of the staff and liked the food.
"It was a bit worrying because I had to cook for him, but we took it out to him and he said thank you and was really nice," said Valentine. “He came into the kitchen, shook our hands and said the food was lovely."
The folks at The Robin Hood aren’t sure why Reeves was hanging out in Tring, but The Mirror speculated he was working on a Disney Plus docuseries about Formula 1.
Last year, it was announced that Reeves was producing a documentary about Jenson Button’s unlikely victory for Brawn GP in 2009. “Our story is about Honda withdrawing from F1 and Ross Brawn who had joined Honda a year and a half earlier,” Reeves said according to TalkSport.
“How did they race a world championship? It’s certainly a people story. It’s about passion,” Reeves added.
Whatever the reason that Reeves was in a small town pub, it’s great that everyone who met him came away with warm feelings about the man. Reeves clearly knows that by being a humble, nice guy to people, he can make someone else’s day and give them a great story to tell forever. Kudos to Reeves for using his fame to touch other people’s lives. With all the stories we’ve reported about him being cool to fans, it seems like he never lets anybody down.
Bowen Yang had to cover his face.
Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.
In “Lisa from Temecula,” Paul, played by Pascal, takes a few friends out for dinner, played by Punkie Johnson, newcomer Molly Kearney and breakout star Bowen Yang. The trouble comes when Johnson’s sister Lisa, played by Ego Nwodim, orders her steak “extra, extra well done.”
The sketch is a play on the notion that it’s a faux pas to order well-done steak, especially in a fancy restaurant. However, Lisa doesn’t care and won’t tolerate “one speck of red” on her steak.
The sketch is one of the rare moments on “SNL” where things are so funny that the cast breaks character. Pascal has difficulty getting through his lines and Yang has to cover his face because he can’t stop laughing. But Nwodim only has one small break in the scene and keeps it together as the sketch’s comedy core.
“Lisa from Temecula” got a lot of attention on social media and Nwodim later thanked the sketch’s writers Alex English, Gary Richardson and Michael Che.
The Mushroom Kingdom got a hilariously apocalyptic makeover.
Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.
And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
Fans were in love with both the fun nods to the game sprinkled throughout the video, plus the fact that the production value looked insane.
“Pedro Pascal delivering the most brooding and serious "It's-a-me" is not something I knew I needed in my life,” wrote one person.
Another added, “Snl doesn't always make great skits but when they do we get masterpieces like this.”
I think this this person pretty much summed up the collective response:
“If this would be a movie I would 100% watch it.”
Though fans might not be seeing Mario brought to life quite this way anytime soon, their favorite adventuring plumber will be taking to the big screen on April 7 for Universal’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” starring Chris Pratt, Anya-Taylor-Joy and Jack Black.
Until then, just watch this video on repeat.
Kylie McDevitt's OBGYN is packing a bag to join the NFL star's wife, just in case baby Kelce decides to see the game too.
Having a baby is an intimate, vulnerable experience, so people get pretty attached to their healthcare providers. I've met women who have planned an induction to have their baby with their preferred doctor and not whoever would be on call if they went into labor naturally. So it may not be a surprise to birthing people that Kylie McDevitt, Philadelphia Eagles player, Jason Kelce's wife, isn't taking any chances when she travels to Arizona for the Super Bowl.
Kelce made headlines with his brother Travis recently when it was revealed that the Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs would be facing off for the Super Bowl, making the pair the first brothers to compete against each other for a ring. It seems that McDevitt didn't want to miss the history-making moment, even though she'll be two weeks shy of the standard 40 weeks of pregnancy.
It's a risky decision to travel to the other side of the country that close to giving birth but McDevitt made provisions—she's packing up her OBGYN. Mama's got a plan, and her doctor's on board, literally and figuratively.
The Eagles player revealed the news on the podcast he co-hosts with his brother, "New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce," saying, "Kylie's bringing her OB because she's going to be 38 weeks pregnant at the game." Kelce joked, "That could be a super Kelce bowl. If she has a baby in the stadium, it's officially scripted." How did he respond to such a random revelation? "We're in the Matrix," Travis replied.
Kelce and McDevitt have two children together and if you've heard anything about birthing babies, then you probably know that each subsequent child comes a bit faster. Of course, this isn't true for everyone but barring any complications, it's fairly accurate.
In an article for VeryWell Family, Dr. Robin Elise Weiss, a childbirth and postpartum educator, explained that subsequent births are quicker on average and that its thought that the body remains looser after childbirth. I mean, it certainly would make sense being that when pregnant, your body releases a chemical called relaxin. This specific chemical is designed to loosen the ligaments and muscles in the pelvis to prepare for birth according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Personally, I'm hoping that baby Kelce holds off until after the Super Bowl. I couldn't imagine giving birth on a dirty floor with most of America watching—it's probably safe to assume McDevitt is hoping for the same.
Whether baby Kelce comes while the family is in Arizona or not, this is going to be a family celebration and a history-making moment. Fans are even petitioning for the Kelce brothers' mom, Donna Kelce to do the coin toss. What a predicament to be in for a mother. No matter who wins, one of her sons loses. But from the looks of it, the family is close-knit so either way, it will likely be a joyous occasion.
All it took was a simple tweak to his browser.
It feels safe to assume that if money were no object, people would always choose to travel business class over economy. After all, who doesn’t want a fast check-in, fancy food and drink choices and more of that sweet, spacious legroom?
Luckily, thanks to one man’s clever travel hack, that fantasy might be more achievable than we realize.Cameron Stewart, a British photojournalist and camera operator, recently shared how he was able to score business class tickets at a fraction of the price, simply by switching the website language from English to Spanish.
Stewart had booked his flight on LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline company. According to The Mirror, he heard that LATAM’s website sometimes showed different ticket prices depending on which language the browser was set to.
While booking his flight from Santiago to Easter Island, Stewart decided to experiment and switched his computer’s VPN or "virtual private network" to make it seem like he was located in Chile, along with changing the browser's language.
"I cleared all cookies from my browser, and used private browser mode so there was no way the website would determine I was outside the country," Stewart told 9News, according to The Mirror.
Using Google translate to navigate the site, Stewart was easily able to book. And it actually turned out “cheaper than economy.”Stewart shared his story in an Instagram post, along with a photo in his cushy seat, all smiles as he sat next to a generous amount of some kind of orange beverage. Probably made from organic oranges they grow in the plane's private garden.
Is the trick foolproof? No. But with such a dramatic price difference, it might be worth trying out.With ever rising inflation costs and constant headlines about an inevitable economic crash, people consider saving money to be more important than ever. Even those who are incredibly wealthy are looking for ways to save. Rather than cutting ourselves off from the things that bring us joy, there are plenty of creative solutions when it comes to living frugally.
That goes for traveling too. Airline tickets might be bonkers, but the need to travel still exists. Perhaps even more so post-pandemic. The good news is that with a little bit of work, you can discover incredible deals to make the trip more feasible—things like finding the optimal times to book, checking sites multiple times a day, and learning how to optimize credit card points, to name a few. Sure, it doesn’t guarantee a hoity-toity business class seat, but it does make adventure that much more attainable.
Excuse me while I change my browser settings to French. Allons y!